It was a long, productive weekend. On Saturday, Meester Jim came in and we all went to the Sunrise Cafe in Ukrainian Village for breakfast. Didn’t plan to; we were really thinking about going to Dapper’s but when we got there the entire parking lot was filled. I don’t know what the heck was going on; maybe someone was giving away money or something, but there was no parking at all. So because we were heading down to Grand Street Gardens to see if they had any interesting early-season plants, we thought we’d give a shot to finding a place to eat in that area. Not that we held out a lot of hope since the area has gotten really hip and congested, but Glinda had Yelped the neighborhood before we left, and said that the cafe had some good reviews. Amazingly, there was a parking spot almost right in front of the place, which is unheard of in that neighborhood. And we got seated almost immediately, so it felt a bit like an omen. The service was excellent and the food was terrific, so it was a good choice all the way around.
Grand Street Gardens is a friendly place with a very helpful staff. I talked trees with one of the women there — if the walnut on our parkway doesn’t do well this summer it’s getting replaced. I’m thinking about a linden. Then everyone in the store gathered to try to find some creeping thyme seeds for me (No joy.) As for plants, they pretty much had the same sorts of things that Meinke’s had a week or so ago: Cool weather flowers like pansies and ranunculus, flowering bulbs, shrubs and a few trees. We did find some butterfly/bee-friendly flower seeds which we’re going to sprinkle along the east side of our garage, some edamame seeds for the Hell Strip because Meester Jim says they’re dead easy and very productive. I also got a pair of ferns for the house; a bird’s nest fern and a squirrel’s foot fern. And they gave us two ruby red metal pails that were on the sale table. Nice, nice people there, and though I think the prices have gone up a bit, they’re still incredibly reasonable.
As it was still early and the weather wasn’t really conducive to gardening, Jim suggested that we go down to the Old Time Pottery in Merrilville, Indiana, which is where we’ve found some wonderful stuff not just for the garden but for the house and for holidays as well. So of course we agreed. We also agreed that we’d spend $50 each on stuff for the garden, and we were pretty much on the nose when we checked out. We got a really lovely hydrangea wreath for our front door. (The one we made last year got destroyed when my old sofa got taken through the front.) And we scored an amazing pot for the garden. It’s a low (maybe 8″ high) bowl that’s probably 25″ – 30″ in diameter. It’s really rustic-looking and has a sun face on the side. We’re thinking of planting it with lavender and marguerites. We bought a sun face wind chime/sun catcher in blue glass and aged brass, a foot tall faux stone stand for our gazing ball, and some smaller pots in a turquoise crackle glaze. The only thing I wanted but didn’t manage to find were a pair of inexpensive glass canisters for flour. Now that I’ve started baking I need canisters that will hold five lbs., one each for whole wheat, rye, and all-purpose (I have a large one for 10 lbs of bread flour.)
On the way home we stopped at Mariano’s and picked up stuff for supper but by the time we got home nobody wanted to cook so we ordered supper from a neighborhood place. I still have soup and a lot of spaghetti left over so it was worth the cost. We watched the American “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” which I really enjoyed. I’ve seen all the films so far and read all the books and while they’re all different, I think they’re all very good and well worth watching/reading.
On Sunday, Glinda and I spend much of the day in the garden. We weeded, pruned, took up the cheap-ass siding with which the former owners had lined the Hell Strip (Why? It made no sense.) and did some more painting. We painted the stand for the gazing ball because it was a nice shape but had a butt-ugly paint job. We painted and repaired the wind chime that had fallen apart last year during a storm. We repainted Buddha who was chipping again (I didn’t do a great job; he’s very, very dark until you get right on top of him.) and the flowers and leaves on the Lady’s Head planter.
Then on Sunday night we watched Fright Night 2011 and found it perfectly charming. However I had a minor meltdown over the stress I was feeling because I had to take Leo to the vet on Monday (Dental work; probably extraction.) I ended up talking to Glinda about it and once I did, it calmed down quite a lot. She and I are both pretty neurotic, and she got what I was saying about conflating Leo’s fate with my own massive sense of guilt over utterly unrelated issues. Basically she let me blather and then said, “I know, I get it. I think that way, too.” Bless her for letting me unload like that.
So by Monday I was feeling a lot better. Glinda took some time off of work and we rented a car, took Leo to Dr. Jewell, went out for pancakes at Walker Brothers, and then ran errands. We hit Home Depot, and bought some potting soil and a bag of rocks for the bottom of the pots that don’t have drainage holes, a bag of dahlia tubers, a pot of hyacinths for Dr. Jewell (He’d just had a birthday, and he did something really nice for me and I wanted to thank him.) an African violet for me, some caulk because I need to recaulk my kitchen sink, a sheet of MDF to make the screen behind Buddha, and some other stuff for the house. Again, the pickings in the garden center were slim, though a bit better than some of the other places we’d been. If I was of a mind to start seeds, I could have done well. But I don’t have the room or the inclination for the most part. The few we bought Saturday will be direct-sown which is really all the work either of us want to do with seeds. We ran a few more errands including stopping at Michael’s because I’d thought of something we should look into for the garden. And of course by the time we got there, I’d completely forgotten what it was. *headdesk*
We also discovered that yesterday had to have been Horrible Driver Day on Chicago streets because not only did we have some close calls ourselves but we saw a lot of egregiously bad driving going on. We did manage to get safely to Regulus for coffee, though. The owner is a lot of fun, and pretty much defines what it is to be caffeinated; I wish I had half his energy. He told us he’s working on an exhibit of art from local artists, so that’s really exciting. I can’t wait to see it.
And of course Leo was fine. He came through surgery beautifully. I brought him home, let him out of his carrier and he and Peeb immediately touched noses. Then he used the litter box, asked for food and flopped down on the floor in his usual spot. He was a little cranky last night but I don’t blame him. I do miss that little snaggle tooth, but it was making his gums bleed and we can’t have that. While my meltdown was silly on the face of it, it did help me sort out where the icky feelings were coming from and why they simply aren’t worth getting all torqued over.
Since we had the car until eight, we went up and got a pizza from Pequod’s for dinner, had a couple of bottles of Metropolitan Brewing Co.’s Dynamo Copper Lager, which is fantastic with pizza, and watched “Under the Tuscan Sun” which is a comfort film for both of us. By nine we were both more than ready to sleep so we said good-night. I was so tired I asked Glinda to take the rest of the pizza with her so I didn’t have to divvy it up!
Today has been slow. I slept about ten hours and then Glinda came down for coffee and some chocolate-cherry bread that our neighbor brought over on Saturday (Bless her; she’s a doll.) We actually sat there until past three looking through garden books and talking plans. I managed to remember that what I wanted to find at Michael’s was a fountain kit so we could make our own wall fountain instead of spending hundreds of bucks on one. Good timing, huh?
We talked about the screen we wanted to make to cover the electrical boxes behind Buddha and Bob, surface treatments for pots, building planters and trellises, and what kinds of trees we’d plant if we won the lottery. (Japanese Lilac. Behind the small waterfall we’ve planned in the garden of the building next door which we would buy. It’s indicative of how much we love living here that even if we won hundreds of millions of dollars we’d want to stay right here and expand our property, not move somewhere else.) It was kind of nice not to have to get up and actually do anything constructive, but now I have a list of things I need to google so we can sort out a few of our ideas. My homework. I also have to get in touch with Consumer Cellular and switch our service from AT&T.
The cats are back to normal, I’m back to normal. I don’t think Glinda ever stopped being normal, and the garden is demanding a lot of time. I can live with that. Thanks to Glinda, Jim and Dr. Jewell for helping me not implode.
Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.